September is National Suicide Prevention Month, and throughout the last few weeks, Instagram has become flooded by empowering survival stories. A new hashtag, #faceofdepression, is adding an important layer of depth to the widespread conversation, and it’s one we simply can’t ignore.
What does a depressed person look like? What does someone with suicidal thoughts look like? Many of us would probably picture a crumpled up, crying shell of a person on a bathroom floor. The reality that #faceofdepression is trying to explain, however, is that people struggling with mental health issues often hide it in their everyday lives – meaning that they look like just about any other person you’d pass on the street.
One of the most touching contributions to the campaign was a video recently shared by Talinda Bentley, widow of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, showing him laughing and smiling just 36 hours before his tragic suicide. Don’t take everything at ‘face’ value. If you think or know someone is struggling, ask the hard questions before it’s too late.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 if you or someone you know needs urgent help. Call 1-800-273-8255 or go to their official website to live chat with a counselor.
Tw: talk of suicidal tendencies. . “You don’t look suicidal”… I remember these words coming from the Dr’s mouth right after I’d just told him that I was having thoughts of suicide. I remember in that moment my 14 year old self felt invalidation, dumb and embarrassed; something no one in that mindset should have to feel. I left feeling confused, what was I supposed to look like? A bottle of pills in one hand and a suicide note in the other? Those words nearly cost me my life, that judgment, those stupid stupid words. . I remember the night just last year that I spiralled and overdosed in my living room. I remember thinking to myself “I can’t get help, I don’t look suicidal, I don’t fit the bill, they’ll laugh at me”. I remember thinking I must have looked the part, must have been wearing the suicidal costume properly when I woke up in Resus as all around me were concerned, worried and sad faces. By then this could have been too late, i might not have been there to see those sad faces if my partner hadn’t of saved my life. . This, this is the danger of thinking mental health has a ‘face’,a ‘look’. This is how stigma, ignorance and judgement towards mental health/suicide affects those who are poorly. . In both these photos i’m suicidal, perhaps not in the same way but on both of these days I had suicidal thoughts racing around. . Stop the judgment. Stop the stigma.
— Talinda Bennington (@TalindaB) September 7, 2017
My daughter as well. The night before she ended up in the hospital they went to the daddy daughter dance and had an amazing time. Thankfully she’s still alive today and learning to beat her illness. She was 8 at the time
This photo was taken just 7 hours before I tried to take my own life for the 3rd time. This photo was taken in the morning, we went for a walk and for some food with Eli. We laughed and enjoyed our time. That evening I took an overdose that left me in hospital for a week. . I had no idea I’d try to take my own life in the morning, I was smiling and loved the way my hair looked hence the selfie. Having BPD (undiagnosed for so long because the NHS wouldn’t listen) means that my mood can switch to suicidal in seconds over the slightest trigger. . Suicidal isn’t just crying, for those with a troubled life and long build ups to breaking point, it’s also snap decisions made whilst your son sleeps in the same house and your loving partner kissed you goodnight hours before. . We need to learn how suicidal tendencies can present themselves beyond our ignorance to the topic. By listening and learning even the tiniest triggers/signs we can save lives. ❤️
This is my son , right before going to his computer to look up how to properly hang himself. Two days later he followed through.
Depression doesn’t have a ‘LOOK’ I can stand up, have a bomb ass day and still be suicidal. Depression is cruel and unforgiving, sometimes the day I ‘look’ the least depressed I’m suffering the hardest. . There’s a stigma of having to look fragile, broken, make up running, bottle of vodka and a suicide note in your hand to be worthy of help/attention for your pain. . Depression is cowering away in bed. Depression is also faking a smile in public. Depression is sometimes being exhausted getting out of bed. Depression is also excessive bursts of energy to try and distract yourself. Depression is crying, self loathing and dread. Depression is also laughing and trying to fit in. Depression is dark black and cold. Depression is also leading a ‘normal’ life and appearing ‘functioning’ Depression is agony. Depression is also a friend, a comfort. . Don’t judge. You never know what someone is going through behind a smile or a laugh. Be gentle. You’ve no idea how much a kind word could mean to someone. Depression doesn’t have a ‘face’, stop the stigma.
This is depression in our home. I tried to hang myself in my attic when the board broke and I broke thru the ceiling alerting my family. I fight every day. My husband tries his best but can’t break through. I don’t understand it. I don’t know why I can’t get rid of it. I have a wonderful family. I feel selfish, lost, sick and angry at myself. My brain has always been a little scrambled and I’ve fought just to make it thru school, I can’t keep a job. I can’t stay in task long enough or I take too long. I leave before I get fired. It’s hard to feel worthless and I hate feeling like a burden to my family. I have so much pain inside. I’m in therapy I have meds. All I know is even though I feel like suicide would make life easier for my family, I also feel like if I could just get my head fixed and could be someone worthy, I really would like to stay around. I have been trying for so long I don’t know if it’s gonna happen for me. Today I am here. We will see how tomorrow goes tomorrow. I take it day for day and some times hour by hour. Sometimes i think If I can get through one more hour I’ll go to bed and I’ll sleep til tomorrow and see how it goes. Today has been ok. I’m trying to find something good today to give hope for tomorrow. Today I try.
This is my boyfriend two weeks before hanging himself. Will never understand it… ?
My #faceofdepression and yes it is possible to be depressed with a child. Hearing, “You don’t have a reason to be depressed with her around” doesn’t do shit but make me feel worse about myself Being told, “All you need is exercise and a good diet” just makes me want to throat punch you even though you’re coming from a good place Depression keeps you from doing things you want to do because it’s literally a chemical imbalance in your brain.
this is what depression looked like not long before we lost our beloved Luke. Depression is a SERIOUS illness. Don’t dismiss people who are hurting.
Short, intense depressive episodes are real and horrible. On the left I was trying to take a photo with Eli. On the right id just had a meltdown/panic attack over my body image from taking photos. 〰 I took a mirror photo to highlight the impact a panic attack/depressive episode can have so quickly, how it doesn’t always take a long stressful day/series of events to breakdown; sometimes it can happen in an instant. 〰 Eli sat with me this whole time as I broke down, cried and panicked in short depressive burst. I then felt the overwhelming guilt of him having to see me like this when in reality he just felt concern and wanted to stroke my face/hug me as he’s a compassionate soul who will be raised knowing that his momma struggles with her mind and that it’s okay! 〰 Mothers with mental health problems, I see you. I’m here, standing with you, standing against all odds and raising the future one day at a time whilst battling with our minds. You’re not going unnoticed or unappreciated- you are incredible. 〰 May is mental health awareness month and I’ve done a video to help reduce stigma on my YouTube channel. Link in bio ?
You guys! This is the face of depression and suicidal thoughts. 3 years ago antidepressants saved my life and then a year and a half ago they almost claimed it because I just decided I was happy and quit taking them suddenly. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Normalize mental health issues. No more shame in my struggle . #suicideprevention #itsoktonotbeok #faceofdepression National Suicide Prevention 1-800 273 8255 It’s OK not to be OK ??????
Bipolar disorder here,(with a heavy emphasis on the depression side)…I get up, put on a full face of makeup, wear a fun dress, all while struggling with depression, anxiety and sometimes suicidal thoughts..
currently at the doctor seeking help, most have no idea what I’m going through and that I cry in the shower or in the car on my way home from work or can’t sleep at night because of panic attacks ❤